KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – If not a man without a country, 36-hole PGA Championship co-leader Carl Pettersson is without question a man without a team.
As the Swede-turned-Carolinian inches his way toward his first major championship at Kiawah the question has come up of whether he could be one of Jose Maria Olazabal’s two captain’s picks for this year’s Ryder Cup.
The short answer is no. According to European Tour officials, because he is not a tour member he is not allowed to play the matches, either as a pick or qualifier. Pettersson, who played his high school and college golf in the United States, last played a European Tour event in 2006 and hasn’t played a full schedule overseas since 2002.
Some have speculated that if Pettersson were to win the PGA the tour could offer him honorary membership which would open the door for Ollie to make him a pick, but that doesn’t seem likely.
In fact, PGA of America officials recently looked into Pettersson’s status as a potential U.S. Ryder Cup player, but according to the regulation to qualify for the American team a player must have become a U.S. citizen before their 18th birthday. Pettersson became a U.S. citizen this January.
GTC would suggest Pettersson look into his status on the International Presidents Cup team. It’s his only hope.